What coming changes mean for home buyers, sellers


To The Editor:

There has been much discussion about the recent settlement involving the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and its impact on consumers seeking to buy or sell a home. As we enter the summer “selling season,” buyers and sellers will notice two real estate practice changes:

1. Properties listed in a multiple listing service (MLS) will no longer include an offer of compensation to a buyer’s agent. It’s important to note that commissions have been and will continue to be negotiable among buyers, sellers and their brokers. 

2. Buyers working with an agent will need to sign a written agreement prior to touring a home.

It’s important to note that written agreements will be required for both in-person and live virtual home tours, but buyers do not need a written agreement if you are just speaking to an agent at an open house or asking them about their services.

The changes will go into effect on August 17, 2024.

These practices will now be industry standards to the benefit of both the consumer and the agent. They will facilitate buyers meeting with agents, discussing services offered, expectations and costs, and formalized into a written agreement. 

Home buyers and sellers will continue to have options when it comes to compensating brokers. Some may opt to pay a fixed fee, or a seller may offer a concession on the home price, which could be used by the buyer to pay their agent. Another alternative is that sellers’ agents may offer some of their fee to buyers’ agents, so long as the offer doesn’t appear on an MLS.

What won’t change is that buyers and sellers alike will continue to rely on the expertise and savvy of their agents to guide them through what for many is the most important financial transaction in their lives. That’s why 90% of homebuyers historically have opted to work with a real estate agent or broker.

Agents know their local markets and neighborhoods like the back of their hands and have extensive knowledge about available homes. Realtors are versed in all the financial and legal complexities of a real estate transaction to guide their clients through the process. Realtors negotiate on a buyer’s behalf so they can rest assured they get the right home at a fair price. Realtors also take them by the hand and guide buyers through the ups and downs of home inspections. In addition, Realtors understand sellers’ motivations and offer suggestions and solutions when deals look like they might fall apart. As professionals, Realtors know what works in the marketplace and what doesn’t. 

The practice changes will facilitate better communications between agents and their clients. What the settlement won’t change is what makes us most valued to our clients: our expertise, commitment to our clients and our passion for helping them fulfill their dream of owning a home.

Rory Dubin


Northeast Florida Association of Realtors